Much has been said about Porto’s good wine, beautiful climate, and affordable living costs and we’ve done our share. But thriving in the European startup scene is another game. Yet Porto is making progress – the city was awarded the Best Startup-Friendly City of Europe by the World Business Angels Investment Forum last year, and its thriving ecosystem is evident from this year’s Start and Scale Week and the recently published ScaleUpPorto Toolkit for Startup Investment. But don’t take this for granted and check Porto out on Dealroom’s recently revamped Startup Map.
Fueled by a large pool of local talent from top universities in the country, and offering the opportunity to live in one of the best tourism destinations in Europe at one of the lowest costs, it’s no wonder Porto is also attracting new investments and expanding its horizons.
But today we’re looking at 10 of Porto’s most interesting startups to look out for in 2019. This is not a top 10, but rather a debatable combination of what we’ve seen in the city, and 8 of them are B2B – a coincidence or a trend?
Azitek has developed real-time localization systems which operate on license-free radio bands, to provide real-time tracking, data analytics, and automated warnings. Its long-range and accurate technology is capable of locating vehicles navigating in both indoor and outdoor environments, like distribution centres, car dealerships, ports, and airports. Founded in 2017, Azitek recently received an undisclosed investment from Portugal Ventures.
Barkyn – Online dog food subscription startup Barkyn is already present in Portugal, Spain, and Italy. The startup delivers three types of personalized packs that dog owners can order at their convenience. The packs include natural food and snacks and custom toys, and additional products are also available on its the online store. Barkyn recently raised €1.7 million in investment from Indico Partners, All Iron Ventures, Shilling Capital Partners, and 7 Graus to help it expand to additional countries.
Didimo creates 3D digital humans from photographs. Using its technology, anyone can use a single selfie or scan to create a digital identity that looks, speaks, and acts like them – and in a few clicks, they can transport themselves to virtual worlds and connect with people in new ways. The startup has applications in immersive gaming, fashion, augmented reality, video conferencing, customer service, and many other sectors. Founded in 2016, the startup is already working with big names like Amazon, Microsoft, Sony, and Universal Studios, and recently received a €1.8 million grant from the European Horizon 2020 programme.
Huub – Founded in 2015 and recently funded by shipping behemoth Maersk with €1.5 million, Huub’s fashion supply chain management platform integrates with e-commerce sites to provide them with a full range of logistical solutions including production follow-up, picking, storage, stock management, order fulfillment, packing, and shipping. HUUB’s algorithms also analyze sales to determine replenishment strategies and prevent under-stocking.
HypeLabs has developed a platform called Hype SDK, which creates peer-to-peer interoperable mesh networks between nearby devices using wifi, Bluetooth and other protocols to allow devices to connect when there is no internet. The interesting global market for mesh networks includes IoT, events, disaster recovery, the sharing economy, gaming, and social media. The startup was founded in 2014, and is based in Porto with offices in San Francisco, London, and Krakow.
Infraspeak has developed a fully customizable maintenance platform designed to simplify building and facility management. It has already conquered major companies worldwide, including Siemens, Domino’s Pizza, and InterContinental Hotels, helping them to efficiently run their maintenance processes while cutting costs and reducing bureaucracy. The four year old company already has offices in Portugal, the UK, Spain, and Brazil, and boasts 200% year-on-year growth.
Invisible Collector is a receivables relationship agent that puts creditors and debtors on the same page, using AI to facilitate debt collection. It integrates with major invoicing software packages and does all the collecting work with a small configuration effort. Founded in 2016, its SaaS solution uses AI to interpret client interaction, anticipate potential defaults, and predict future cashflow.
Knok is an app-based healthcare platform offering patients AI chatbots, video calls, face-to-face appointments with doctors at home, and integration with hospitals in one single application. The startup, dubbed the “Uber for doctors”, currently provides its service in Portugal, Spain and Italy. It raised a seed round of £300k from Mustard Seeds, and recently won a national innovation in health prize.
Tonic App increases the efficiency of clinical work by aggregating several useful medical tools in one app for day-to-day professional use, helping doctors to diagnose and treat patients, while allowing for team collaboration and the fast and safe discussion of cases. The app is free for medical doctors, hospitals, and other health organizations to increase the quality and efficiency of care and reduce costs, and is already being used by over 10,500 doctors.
Just founded in 2018, Weezie offers a web and mobile solution for fiber-network planning, design, construction and management for FTTH (Fiber to the home) – the installation optical fiber from a central point directly to individual buildings – with applications in telecoms, utilities, smart cities, and smart companies. Fibercloud, the name of the SaaS solution aimed at telecom companies and service providers, is scaling globally thanks to an investment of €525k from Novabase Capital and Busy Angels in December 2018.
By the way: If you’re a corporate or investor looking for exciting startups in a specific market for a potential investment or acquisition, check out our Startup Sourcing Service!